Southport Visitor


Among the passengers on board the Titanic was Miss Lily Bonnell, of 17, Welbeck-road, who was proceeding on a six months' visit to her brother, who lives in the States. She was accompanied by her niece, Miss Caroline Bonnell, and they were of a party which included Mr. and Mrs. George Wicks and their daughter, of London.

Miss L. Bonnell is a prominent member of the South and East Branch of the Women's Unionist League, and is a member of the General Council. She is also connected with the Mary Willett Day Nursery, of which she is a member of the committee. She is well known in local musical circles, and was a member of the chorus which gave a performance of Elgar's "Kingdom" a few weeks ago at Chapel-street Congregational Church.

A cablegram was received yesterday at Birkdale, stating that the four ladies of the party were saved, but that Mr. Wicks is among the missing.

Among the interviews which have been published is the following with Miss C. Bonnell. The correspondent says:--- "I next saw Miss Bonnell, of Youngstown. She said, 'The steamer was running at her usual rate of speed when the wreck occurred. Shortly before midnight on Sunday the Titanic was ploughing through icefields, which we had encountered after dinner, and, as far as I could tell, she had not slowed down. A large portion of the passengers had gone to their cabins and were asleep. I had gone to my berth, but had not undressed. As near as I can say, the accident happened at about half-past eleven.

'Her bow drove into a large iceberg, and she seemed to run up on the ice at first and then slip off. Many of the lower plates of her hull were torn asunder, and the water immediately rushed in, and the Titanic began to sink down at the bow. Many passengers were not even aware of the collision, as the vessel seemed to slip across the top of the berg so easily that no one knew what had happened.


'The alarm was given, and the passengers roused. They hurriedly seized whatever clothes were nearest at hand, and rushed on deck.. Immediately the lifeboats were made ready. There was a rush for them, and I heard that there was some shooting among the first cabin passengers, but of this I know nothing myself. The steamer continued to sink lower and lower in the water, and it was evident she could not live long.

'The passengers rushed to the stern, and it was found that there were not enough lifeboats to save all the people. A fearful scramble ensued, but the sailors were successful in fighting off the men and rescuing the women. As the boats were lowered into the sea, the ship's band assembled at the stern on the first cabin deck and played "Nearer, my God, to Thee" as the vessel settled in the water.


'By the time the lifeboats were far away out of danger of the suction of the ship, we could hear the faint strains of the beautiful music on the air. It was a terrible moment. Sob after sob rent the air as we pulled away from the fated ship. The music was not inspiring. It was simply heartrending. As we got away from the ship she seemed to break up, and the centre was higher than either the stern or bow. This showed that she was already broken in twain amidships, and not telescoped.'


'The force of the collision chiefly affected the keel and not the bow. I was told by one of the sailors that the plates must have been ripped right along the keel. We were in the boats for some hours before we were rescued by the Carpathia. We saw icefields and icebergs all about us constantly grinding and crashing together. We were in danger of being dashed to pieces, as they were constantly about us. The weather was extremely cold, and we suffered intensely, especially as many were clad in very scanty garments. The men in the second-class cabin certainly behaved with splendid heroism. There was no panic among the second-class cabin passengers, but the men in the first-class cabin flew into a rage, and were wild. I heard several shots from revolvers, and I was informed that the officers fired on the men who tried to crowd the women out of the lifeboats. We were well cared for on the Carpathia, and the mental condition of all the men and most of the women was extremely good under the circumstances. Until the ship arrived here to-night only natural evidence of insanity was shown at the lifting of the suspense.'




It is feared that Mr. William Theodore Brierley [sic], who for some time was the pianist at the Pier Pavilion, is among the drowned. Mr. Brierley was an exceptionally clever musician, and kept his position at the Pavilion for two years, when he went to a musical college to complete his education. He left the college and embarked on a White Star boat as pianist in the orchestra. When in Southport during the early part of the present year he informed his friends that he was engaged to embark on the Titanic's maiden voyage. His home was in London, and he was engaged to be married to Miss Steinhilber, of St. Luke's-road, Southport. A telegram from Mr. Brierley's father early in the week told her that there was no cause for despair, but a second message stated that the worst was to be feared, as the unfortunate pianist's name did not appear in the list of the survivors. Mr. Brierley had also served as a soldier in India.

From inquiries made last night of the relatives of Mr. Hy. Walpole, we learn that no news has been recieved, and the worst fears are entertained.

Related Biographies:

Caroline Bonnell
Elizabeth Bonnell
William Theodore Ronald Brailey
Walter Ennis
Jane Kate Coulson Gold
James Walpole

Relates to Place:

Southport, Merseyside, England


Courtesy of Paul Charlesworth


Encyclopedia Titanica (2012) SOUTHPORT PASSENGERS ON THE TITANIC. (Southport Visitor, Saturday 20th April 1912, ref: #19167, published 12 September 2012, generated 29th September 2020 05:03:34 PM); URL :